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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 23AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 23

Volume 4, Issue 23 • June 7, 2002
In this issue:
Foreign flight students face new rules
Diamond Aircraft unveils twin
AOPA makes it easier to avoid TFRs

Avis Advertisement

Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

AOPA Insurance Agency Ad

AOPA Flight Explorer

King Schools

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program

Got news? Contact ePilot . Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Copyright � 2002 AOPA.

GA News
A new report commissioned by AOPA has concluded that general aviation aircraft do not pose a serious threat to the nation's nuclear power plants. The report, by internationally recognized nuclear safety and security expert Robert M. Jefferson, said that the crash of a GA aircraft wouldn't cause a dangerous release of radiation. "Following the events of September 11, some expressed fears that a small aircraft might 'attack' a nuclear plant," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We sought out an expert to determine if that fear were real. The Jefferson report makes it clear that general aviation aircraft are not effective weapons and small aircraft aren't a significant threat to the safety of the public when it comes to nuclear power plants."

Apparently some U.S. senators agree. In a recent Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on security of nuclear facilities, Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.) stated that, "Commercial nuclear plants are probably the most physically secure and least vulnerable of our nation's industrial infrastructure." Bond went on to say, "I urge all of you, if you haven't seen it, to view the videotape of a government test where they crashed an F-4 jet fighter into a containment wall at nearly 500 miles per hour. The jet was obliterated and the 6-foot wall was penetrated only 2 inches." At the same hearing, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) submitted the report commissioned by AOPA concluding that GA aircraft do not threaten nuclear power plants. See AOPA Online.

The expansion of an existing law will better track foreign nationals including flight students and will allow flight schools dependent on foreign students to return to normal operations. According to U.S. officials, those "high risk" visitors who wish to remain in the United States for more than 30 days for flight training will undergo registration, fingerprinting, and will be photographed. Unlike the state of Michigan, which recently passed legislation requiring U.S. student pilots to undergo rigorous State Department and FBI background checks, this federally imposed law will focus on the foreign pilot population rather than imposing a burden on the U.S. flight-training community. In a recent letter to the governor of New Jersey, AOPA President Phil Boyer said, "A more logical approach to addressing aviation security and airman requirements should be left to the federal government to implement, something that is occurring now." In addition, Boyer pointed out that flight training is regulated by the FAA, not individual states. AOPA continues to urge other states to stop any legislation that would unnecessarily hinder the training of U.S. students and jeopardize the future of the aviation economy in the United States.

Diamond Aircraft is developing a $360,000, IFR-equipped, diesel-powered twin-engine aircraft aimed at the training and personal-use markets. Designated the DA42 TwinStar, it utilizes composite construction. It is powered by a pair of 135-hp turbocharged diesels from Thielert Aircraft Engines that are designed to operate on either automotive diesel or Jet A1 fuel. (See the AOPA Pilot story.) Features designed to reduce pilot workload include electronic fuel management, automatic prop control, and auto-feather capability. Conventional powerplants may be offered as well. Optional equipment will include a glass cockpit, an oxygen system, and anti-ice/deice equipment. The first flight is scheduled for September, with initial deliveries expected in early 2004.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its final report on the October 16, 2000, crash of a Cessna 335 in Hillsboro, Missouri, that took the lives of Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, his son Randy, and campaign aide Chris Sifford. The report concludes that the probable cause of the accident was the pilot's failure to control the airplane because of spatial disorientation while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident were the failure of the airplane's primary attitude indicator and the adverse weather conditions, including turbulence. The full accident report may be seen on the NTSB Web site.

The Lancair Company, located in Bend, Oregon, will sell a portion of the company stock and use the money for working capital and additional tooling to increase the production rate to one four-place Lancair Columbia 300 per day by mid-2003. "We've used the interim time period to polish our manufacturing and quality systems in preparation for this ramp up and are very excited about this recent equity round," said company founder and CEO Lance Neibauer. The company has signed an agreement with a New York equity firm for the sale of the stock. Certification and delivery of an upgraded version of the 300, the Columbia 350, is expected by August. The Columbia 350 incorporates fully-redundant electrical systems, new avionics, and an optional full authority digital engine control. A turbocharged version of this aircraft, the Columbia 400, is scheduled to complete certification and begin delivery before the end of this year.

The New Piper Aircraft has expressed concern to FAA officials in Washington, D.C., and Seattle, Washington, in recent weeks that aircraft built by Cub Crafters of Yakima, Washington, infringe on the "name and heritage" of Piper. Cub Crafters calls its tailwheel, tandem-seat Cub lookalike the Top Cub. It is built out of parts from FAA-approved vendors in 10 states who support the Piper Super Cub. Piper spokesman Mark Miller said the Cub's day has passed, and that The New Piper Aircraft could not have obtained liability insurance coverage had it restarted the Cub manufacturing line. "We're grateful for the commitment of pilots to the Cub, but it lacks modern improvements. There are safety and liability issues," Miller said. "This issue is not over: They are playing fast and loose with our name and our heritage," Miller added. Cub Crafters officials said they were asked by Piper years ago to avoid using the Super Cub name, and they accomplished that by naming the aircraft a Top Cub. They said they have heard no complaints from Piper since that time.

Cub Crafters also has plans to offer what Piper once called the Cub Special PA-11, the intermediate model that came between the original J-3 Cub and the Super Cub. The tandem-seat aircraft has a limited useful load, but can be flown from the front seat and is considered a Sunday-afternoon pleasure aircraft. Cub Crafters hoped to test fly its PA-11 this week, and to offer it to the public--if it can meet weight restrictions--under the new Sport category in January as a kit, with deliveries starting next spring. Cub Crafters will manufacture many of the parts. It would cost less than $100,000 when fully completed. See the AOPA Pilot story.

The former president of Micco Aircraft, fired along with 20 more of his employees in mid-April, says he hopes to purchase the company and is talking with interested parties in Texas. The Ft. Pierce, Florida, firm is up for sale, and is estimated by one official to be worth $2 million. Dewitt Beckett, who led the company until April with his wife, Decki, said the present owners, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, used armed security guards to remove employees and take control of the firm. Eight or nine employees remain at the company to meet FAA type and manufacturing certificate requirements. Beckett, who survived an attempt by the tribe to oust him last year thanks to those same FAA certificate requirements, said he is in negotiation with officials in Texas who are interested in moving Micco to their state. His main goal, certification of the SP26 aerobatic model, has been achieved, Beckett noted. Micco also makes the SP20 model; both are based on the Meyers 145 tailwheel aircraft. Ken Fields, executive administrator for the Hollywood, Florida-based tribe, said the latest round of firings was a difficult decision, one that the tribe would have liked to avoid. Last year the tribe fired 60 Micco employees and halted manufacturing.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Squawk Sheet
The FAA has issued Airworthiness Concern Sheets asking for GA community feedback on potential airworthiness problems with Cessna control columns and Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) magneto impulse couplings. Airworthiness concerns are issued as a way to solicit input before proposing or issuing an airworthiness directive (AD). The FAA suspects that control columns on Cessna 172, 180, and 185 airplanes may corrode and ultimately fail and has asked AOPA and aircraft type clubs to obtain data from the field regarding this condition. On the issue of the TCM magneto impulse couplings, the FAA says an existing magneto impulse coupling AD (96-12-07) may mandate engine inspections that are no longer
necessary, and is requesting service information regarding magneto model, type of impulse coupling flyweight retention, engine make/model, and impulse coupling time in service.

AOPA, in close coordination with the Ercoupe Owners Club (EOC), submitted comments to the FAA recommending several changes to a proposed AD on Ercoupe wingspars. The proposed AD (2001-CE-45-AD) recommends inspection of the wing center section for corrosion visually or via a borescope and repair or replacement of corroded or damaged parts. AOPA and the EOC opposed the proposed inspection procedures, recommending a faster, less expensive, and more effective inspection method. AOPA and EOC urged the FAA to include the alternative inspection procedure in the final AD, and asked that the FAA extend the 100-hour/annual repetitive inspection intervals to a longer period more representative of the actual time necessary for corrosion to develop in Ercoupe wing center sections. See AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
AOPA has made it easier for pilots to avoid temporary flight restrictions. AOPA Online has a new graphical search interface allowing members to easily locate restrictions in their state, and has also improved the Web site's notam page. In addition, TFRs are depicted graphically along with a plain-language interpretation. So before taking off, click here.

Completing the restoration of GA access at airports in the Washington, D.C., area continues to be a top priority for the AOPA staff. Based aircraft operations were restored on February 14 with the promise that the procedures would be reviewed with the goal of expanding transient access after 60 days, but this has not occurred. AOPA continues to pressure ranking government officials within the security community to restore transient operations at College Park Airport and Potomac Airfield along with the promised impending reopening of Washington Executive/Hyde Field. As part of this initiative, senior AOPA management will meet with D.C.-area airport users at College Park Airport on Wednesday, June 12, at 1 p.m. to discuss present and future actions.

The AOPA Fly-In and Open House set new attendance records last Saturday: 895 aircraft flew in for the one-day event that was attended by 8,000 people. That eclipses the previous record of 760 aircraft set in 2000. The temporary FAA control tower set up for the fly-in was the second busiest tower in the nation that day, not as busy as Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport but beating out Chicago's O'Hare International for second place. "An event like this shows that general aviation remains a vibrant and exciting part of the aviation community," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.

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On Capitol Hill
Responding to news stories and questions raised last weekend about passenger screening for private charter flights, AOPA has highlighted the difference between personal aviation and charter operations. "In our small, private aircraft, our passengers are our family, friends, and business associates," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Just like the family car, we know who is getting in and what they're carrying. There's no better security screening than personal knowledge." The most vocal critic of charter security is Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl. But despite his strong questioning of FBI Director Robert Mueller during a Thursday hearing on intelligence breakdowns, Kohl has recognized the difference between Part 91 GA operations and charter flights, and his staff has made it clear that he is concerned about passengers boarding charter flights, not about passenger security on the typical general aviation aircraft.
Airport Support Network
More than 1,200 Airport Support Network volunteers throughout the nation are working with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports. They act as the eyes and ears of AOPA to provide an early warning for threats to airfields. Below are just a few airports in your area where ASN volunteers are still needed.

To nominate a volunteer, which can be yourself, visit AOPA�Online.

AOPA�Air Safety Foundation News
Maine-based pilot Bill Wade had his 1954 de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk photographed by AOPA Pilot photographer Mike Fizer in late May. Wade won an auction for Fizer's talents in an AOPA Air Safety Foundation auction. Pilot writers Tom Horne and Al Marsh flew to Bar Harbor, Maine, for the air-to-air photo session in late May. The tandem-seat aerobatic trainer was photographed over the Atlantic Ocean offshore from Acadia National Park. The proceeds from the auction benefit general aviation safety programs.

AOPA Sweepstakes Waco Update
Our 1940 Waco UPF-7 is between construction stages. All the avionics have been received and are ready for installation, as are the refurbished engine and other cockpit instruments. Before they are installed, the restoration project will be moved to new facilities at Rare Aircraft's headquarters in Owatonna, Minnesota, 12 miles from the current shop in Faribault, Minnesota. The aircraft sections, fuselage, wings, and tail feathers are ready for covering, and the engine is ready for installation. The move will occur later this month, paving the way for rapid progress. Our Waco should fly by September. See AOPA Online.
Quiz Me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: When looking at the Corpus Christi area on the Brownsville sectional, I saw the following two notations near airports. They were "NOLF Cabaniss" and "NALF Orange Grove." What do they mean? I couldn't find anything in the legend of the sectional.

Answer: Both of these indicate naval airfields, primarily used for naval training. "NOLF" stands for "Naval Outlying Landing Field," and "NALF" stands for "Naval Auxiliary Landing Facility." Information on these fields is available in the Airport/Facility Directory published by the National Aeronautical Charting Office.

Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].

Picture Perfect

Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day. Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. See AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA�Online
A loss of oil pressure and an emergency landing in Flagstaff, Arizona, led one pilot to reevaluate repairs made by unfamiliar mechanics—if your gut tells you to ask more questions about repairs, by all means do so. See the latest "Never Again Online," titled "Is this an emergency now?" exclusively on AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA�Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
La Crosse, Wisconsin. Deke Slayton Airfest 2002 takes place June 15 and 16 at La Crosse Municipal Airport (LSE). Western Wisconsin's largest airshow and static display. See the Web site.

Las Vegas, Nevada. The International Cessna 170 Association Convention takes place June 16 through 23 at the Texas Station Hotel and Casino. See the Web site.

Scappoose, Oregon. The Eleventh Annual Northwest RV Fly-in takes place June 15 at Scappoose Industrial Airpark (SPB). Join the Home Wing of Van's Air Force for the premier RV event of the season. See the Web site.

For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, June 15 and 16. A Clinic is scheduled in Las Vegas, June 22 and 23. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.

(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place in Minneapolis on June 30. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oklahoma City on June 14. Topics are spatial disorientation and single-pilot IFR. Seminars are scheduled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Scotia (Albany), New York, June 17; Kansas City, Missouri, and North Syracuse, New York, June 18; St. Louis, and Henrietta (Rochester), New York, June 19; and Cheektowaga, New York, June 20. The topic is single-pilot IFR. For the complete schedule, see AOPA�Online.

To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].

Got news or questions? Send your comments to [email protected].

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